Are leaders and HR repeatedly doing the same things the same way and expecting different results, or not doing what would create a shift?
Tapping into surprising (if not shocking) research findings, and what I have heard from HR and leaders across businesses, I believe focusing on three key areas could shift the needle and impact businesses in more than one positive way.
Imagine the results we would get if we make the following our priority and do what we have been doing differently?
#1 Appointing And Developing The Best Leaders, Who Are Trusted And Bring Out The Best In People
According to CareerBuilder.com, 58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training. We have to remember that managers did not study organizational or behavioural psychology to prepare them for understanding and leading people or organisations, and that they went from managing-self to managing-others without the crucial support for their new role.
Leadership development is about more than conferences or a MBA. We need to focus more on impactful leadership development like executive coaching and experiential workshops for significant and sustainable change.
A Harvard Business Review study revealed 58 percent of people say they trust strangers more than their own boss. Numerous studies point to the fact that people leave (directly or indirectly) because of their boss.
Trust in senior leadership is broken if managers do not face the same consequences as other employees who are not performing in their role, and yet we continue to run engagement surveys which more often than not point to a leadership crisis in the organisation.
Other than accelerating our development of and support for leaders ten-fold, we need to consider carefully the criteria we use when appointing, promoting and reviewing performance of all people managers.
#2 Creating Positive Workplace Experiences, Relationships, And Collaborative Teamwork
Gallup reports that nearly 70 percent of employees are actively disengaged. According to The Conference Board, 53 percent of Americans are unhappy at work.
We are clearly not doing the right things. Or maybe people and their expectations have changed and companies are to slow to adjust to this change.
There are universal needs that drive people – they want to feel valued and appreciated, improve themselves or their lives, and want to work towards a purpose they regard as important. They also want to have good relationships, have great experiences and be happy at the place where they invest most of their time and energy.
#3: Digitise, Automate And Simplify All People Management Processes
HR and leaders are still doing things manually that should have been automated a long time ago.
HR professionals, who chose the career direction because they wanted to make a difference to people and workplaces, are disempowered and disgruntled because they fill their days with administrative work.
Digitisation can drive change, and can force us to integrate and simplify processes. Maybe it is time that we use technology to drive change and for people and leaders (not HR) to effortlessly manage people processes, and not mould technology to fit our (outdated) processes?
According to Bill Thomas, Global Chairman of KPMG International (at the WEF Annual Meeting, 24 January 2019), CEOs and the companies they lead are investing and spending more money on data driven insights than ever before. Yet nearly 70 percent of the CEOs they spoke to, admitted they have relied on their own intuition over data-driven insights to make strategic decisions in the past three years.
Digitisation of HR processes can also enable data-driven people decision making (rather than relying on assumptions) that would lead to better results.
About the author:
Liezel Pheiffer Blignaut is the Founding Director and CEO of Human Capital Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd.
She has extensive experience developing and implementing customised, integrated solutions and coaching executives across industries and companies. Liezel holds a M.Comm (HR & Industrial Psychology), serves on the Advisory Boards of the HR Think Tank and the University of Pretoria’s Department of HRM (Faculty Economic and Management Sciences) and is a member of the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa.